About This Role:
This position exists to milk, feed and provide care of the DTRC dairy herd, which is used for teaching and research purposes.
Employee sets up the milking equipment, puts cows into milking stalls, dips teats before and after milking, attaches milking equipment and milks a minimum of 40 cows per hour until all cows are milked. Employee works either a morning, evening, or night shift milking 200-400 cows representing an investment of approximately $500,000 per shift.
Employee is responsible for sanitizing equipment before milking with a specified sanitizer. Employee must prepare the parlor before each milking including checking compressor, milk line and pump, and ensuring bulk milk storage tank is operating. Employee must identify off-line cows to prevent their milk from getting into the bulk tank. Value of one tank is approximately $8,000.00. Failure to perform will result in loss of milk and revenue.
Employee rakes manure from free stalls and levels free stall surface each shift. Employee is responsible for feeding replacement heifers, cleaning calf hutches, weighing calves, assisting with vaccination, dehorning, castration, and clipping extra teats. Employee assists with lot scraping and general cleanup of facilities including hallway, break room, rest rooms and office. Employee moves cows from pens and tie-stall barn to milking parlor and back; releases and ties up cows in tie-stall barn; and assists in cleaning and feeding in tie-stall barn as needed.
Before each milking, employee must make a general survey of cows to check for any abnormalities in calving, milk fever, or any sick animal. Employee is responsible for calling the manager or veterinarian, if needed. If necessary, employee may give some treatment. Employee cares for newborn calves by sterilizing the navel, injecting vitamins, and other necessary medication.
Employee is responsible for recognizing common health problems of the cows as an essential part of the job. While milking, employee must be able to recognize mastitis and milk fever (with mastitis being the most common). When mastitis is detected, it is the employee's responsibility to treat the condition under the direction of the manager, make records of the treatment, and discard the milk from treated cows. These off-line cows are milked separately and treated again, if necessary.
Observation and recording of "heat" or estrus is an important part of the milker's job. When cows are moved, they express more activity than at other times of the day.
Employee has contact with graduate and undergraduate students, faculty, other unit employees, and non-university visitors. Employee must communicate and work well with these groups. Other duties as assigned by supervisor include but are not limited to the collection of milk samples for research projects and training students. Responsibilities vary some among seasons of the year. Fewer cows are milked during the summer than during fall, winter, and spring.